Newton County Juvenile Court seeks grant to expand drug court treatment

COVINGTON — The Newton County Juvenile Court is seeking funds to expand its current drug court services to a day treatment program.

Research analyst Diana Summers said it’s the first time the court will be applying for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Treatment Court grant, which would provide $320,580 to expand the program.

“It’ll give the youth the extra services they need to stay clean,” Summers said. “It’ll add education, life skills support in order to maintain sobriety.”

Summers said a key element of the grant is being able to provide transportation in order for the youth to participate in the day treatment.

“There’s no public transportation in Newton County. We have a lot of eligible youth to participate in the drug court program, but many have working parents who can’t bring them,” Summers said. “Funding for transportation will help tremendously to provide the youth the means to participate in an extensive treatment program.”

If the court receives the DHS grant, the day treatment program would start in September.

The Juvenile Court also seeks funding assistance from the Department of Health and Human Services’ grant program, Promoting Safe and Stable Families.

It’s the sixth year the court has applied for this grant which helps fund the girls’ STEPS program. The grant of $35,250 funding supports group counseling, parent education, mentoring and community service programming for girls with delinquency or at-risk for out-of-home placement.

“The girls’ STEPS program has had a great success rate. We’ve had 84 percent of our girls, who graduated the program, received no new charges,” Summers said.

Summers will go before the Newton County Board of Commissioners to request approval to apply for the two grants at the 7 p.m. meeting today.